A complete research paper guide that starts at the beginning, and helps students evolve into expert research paper writers. Students select the argument that naturally makes the most sense to them to research.
OK, enough science puns.
This assignment attempts to provide a research assignment that allows students to research the scientific evidence that supports their beliefs about the Origins of Man. The paper and supplemental materials remain neutral, and students are required only to investigate their own beliefs about this topic, and evaluate the scientific arguments behind them. This assignment could be easily expanded to allow for the presentation of both sides of the argument should you desire. The research paper focuses on:
*Summarizing the position on the Origins of Man
*Researching the scientific processes that explain the age of the earth, arrangement of fossils and rock strata, and scientific evidence for/against natural selection as an explanation for the diversity of species.
The provided rubric is carefully "position neutral" and focuses primarily on how well the student explains the position and scientific evidence that supports it. This rubric is not intended to be an argumentative research paper rubric, and would need to be changed in order to work in that capacity.
Here is what you'll receive with this packet:
*Suggested calendar (3 weeks of 60 minute periods if your students require the entire packet and class time to write the research paper)
*Summary of activities and suggested points values for grading the worksheets about the writing process. (This is for students who struggle greatly with formal writing, as most of my students come to me and believe that the best way to write a research paper is to type in one window while they have the website up on the other one. This type of "research" leads to poorly written, Helter Skelter papers, or plagiarized ones. If this is what your kids think is best practice, it might help to go through a refresher, and give a bunch of points for going along the process with you.)
*Basic synopsis of some of the most common theories about the origin of mankind with scholarly article links for suggested enrichment reading.
*A "Why avoid plagiarism?" handout
*A worksheet on taking notes
*Divorce from your Source Worksheet (helps students take their notes and write complete thoughts from them.)
*Tips for selecting credible sources handout
*Sites to Cite organizer to be used specifically with this research paper to help students target research
*Notecard system handout to be used with old-school notecard information organization methods
*Handout and worksheet on using Kansas Strategies to create a well-ordered paragraph
*3 page handout on citing using google docs research tool and what information needs to be cited
*Rubric (designed to be very rigorous, allows for extra credit as a way to differentiate instruction for high-flyers)
*Parent Signature Page--because we all know this is a hot-button issue in education, and it's probably best to offer an alternative assignment.